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Plumbing Fixtures and Supplies - Terminology

A correctly designed and installed home plumbing system is practically trouble-free. Should problems occur, however, there are standard methods for dealing with them. It will help if you know the terminology of the different areas of your plumbing, so you can knowledgeably find repair information in your own "how to" books or talk to your local plumber confidently.

The main term you should know is the water shut off valve. This will shut down all of the water in your house prevent any further damage from a leak or other problem. Always know where this is located and how to turn it off.

A "trap" is located at each fixture in the drain passages. The trap retains water that acts as a seal to prevent gases, bacteria, and vermin from entering the house. Plugged traps are a common cause of overflow.

Main vents serve toilets and secondary vents serve other fixtures, extending through the roof. Some systems have re-vents connected to the main or secondary vents. These are called soil pipes and are 3 inches or larger in diameter. Every system contains plugged openings called cleanouts. They provide access to blockage removal.
 
 
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